March 15th, 2009
05:22 PM ET
13 years ago

Cheney: Not happy we 'left Scooter sort of hanging'

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="Photo Credit: Josh Rubin/CNN."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN Sunday that former President George W. Bush should have pardoned former side I. Scooter "Lewis" Libby, and that he was unhappy his former chief of staff had been left "sort of hanging in the wind."

Bush had turned down Cheney's request for a Libby pardon. "Well, it was - it was one of the moments that occurred in the administration where we had fundamental difference of opinion," Cheney told John King on State of the Union. "I believe firmly that Scooter was unjustly accused and prosecuted and deserved a pardon, and the president disagreed with that."

King asked whether any of the discussions had been angry or tense ones, or involved shouting. "Those kinds of details, I think, are best left to history," replied Cheney. "Maybe I'll write about it in my book."

Cheney is writing an as-yet untitled memoir about his four decades in Washington.

He told King he and the president had spoken by phone three times in the past few weeks, and that the two men had "built a very solid, lasting relationship" - although he remained unhappy with Bush's decision on Libby. "I was clearly not happy that we, in effect, left Scooter sort of hanging in the wind, which I didn't think was appropriate. I think he's an innocent man who deserves a pardon," he said.

Cheney also defended Rush Limbaugh from charges by some conservative commentators that the radio host was electoral "kryptonite."

"Rush is a good friend. I love him," Cheney told King. "I think he does great work and has for years. He's now offered to debate President Obama on his radio show. Hell, I'd pay to see that! It would be interesting to have developed. I think Rush is a good man and serves a very important purpose."

Filed under: Dick Cheney • State of the Union
soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. Kent in CA

    Scooter broke the law and Dick is unhappy he is being punished for it? Is he telling Americans that it is OK to break the law?

    March 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Pat

    Maybe Scooter deserved a partdon; after all, he was basically just a gopher for Cheney. Cheney and Bush are the ones who belong in jail!

    March 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Ohio Woman

    George W. Bush was Cheney's puppet and Bush tired of it around 2006. Bush wanted to be a "big shot" and get Saddam, Cheney wanted control of the oil. Well, they and all the other players left our world in a big mess. Like it or not, we will never get out of Iraq because of the Bush administration. Cheney is pure evil, Bush is stupid. AND 9/11 happened on their watch as they ignored the warnings.

    March 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Mickey, New York

    Why do we continue to give these Republican criminals a platform to spew their inflammatory rhetoric?

    Just like these criminals taped the torture of individuals, I hope someone gets the moment Cheney's heart explodes on video, and posts it on YouTube.

    March 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. susanspics

    Scooter and Dick left a CIA operative and her family hanging too, and there was much more of a danger to them for this illegal act.

    The United States was left hanging for 8 year due to the war crimes and crimes against our Constitution done by this administration.

    I could care less about some Bush cronie being slightly disgraced on the matter because his name wasn't cleared in this federal crime.

    March 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Christopher

    Why didnt Cheney offer to take his place in Jail...CROOK!

    March 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Cab

    Someone make the scary war monger go away please, why are we listening to this washed up paranoid old man?

    March 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Peter

    Cheney should be horse whipped!

    March 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. George

    I can't wait for the international incident that will occur when one of these clowns gets arrested on an international vacation for war crimes. Everything he says at this point should be applicable in a court of law

    March 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. michael


    March 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. ch

    March 15th, 2009 11:57 am ET

    You either like or dislike Dick Cheney but you gotta admit, he's far smarter than the current VP we got right now. Scott

    Yhea – about 14% like Cheney and 86% do not.

    Disagree – Biden is WAY smarter than Cheney. Cheney was STUPID enough to think we would be greeted as "liberators" by the prople of Iraq after we invaded.

    Insteard we were greeted by road side bombs and gun fire and over 3,000 Americans are dead beacuse of Bush/Cheney.

    Good Riddance to Dick Cheney and the entire Bush crew!

    March 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    This man is disgusting. Why is CNN giving him a voice??????

    March 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Ricardo

    Thank you Mr. X-Vice President:
    You broke every law in the book and so did your boy 'Scooter'.
    You engineered a war that was illegal in Iraq. Funny, we don't hear about the WMDs anymore which is why you beat the drum for war.
    You never finished the mission in Afghanistan and now Obama has to do it. You are the most hated man in the last 100 years of American history. Go write your book, it will be the same pack of lies repackaged. Maybe you will share with us the reason you still claim Saddam was behind 911. Be very glad you have not been brought up on charges of being a War Criminal. Thanks, Dick, now just go back to where ever you hid for the last 7 years.
    A US Voter.

    March 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Rainguy

    Waterboard him!

    March 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. MLH

    Why are we granting this man any legitimacy by having him on talk shows.? He's lucky he isn't in prison with Mr. Libby.

    March 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. jimbo

    Why does anyone even listen to this gas bag of a lying liar anymore?

    March 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Debi

    Instead of putting Cheney on tv, why not put him in jail where he and his partner in crime Bush, belong

    March 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. msg

    Wow – lots of emotional points of view. Cheney could have retired long ago and could have not opted for a 2nd term. He was wealthy and unhealthy prior to the presidential race – I give him credit for serving his country.

    March 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. ralph

    Cheney should have been President. Sure much smarter than the idiots in office now.

    March 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Disgusted with Dick

    Cheney should be indicted for war crimes and treason. Scooter was a crook and like a good little boy he took the rap for Cheney. Scooter's verdict was the one and only tiny little shred of "accountability" for the heinous acts committed by this regime and it is not nearly enough.

    March 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. D.Tin

    This man thinks he and his fellow cohorts are above the law. He wanted Libby to take the fall for him and he did, stop complaining. Libby should have spilled the beans on everyone, and Cheney would be in jail now. He talks about possible terror attacks because he and his "pals" are planning one! I hope our spy agencies are keeping an eye on him and his friends.

    March 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Lush Limprick and Osama bin Laden have the same vision for America - FAILURE!

    Cheney may not be happy but most American are happy Libby is still considered a felon!

    March 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Clive

    This man is a revolting person. He should be rotting in jail not giving interviews on CNN,

    March 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Deborah

    Crawl back into your hole, Dick. The hubris of this man is sickening.

    March 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Mark

    If Cheney feels so sorry about having Libby fall on his sword and lie, and be convicted for lying, to save Cheney and Bush from prosecution for treason in outing Valarie Plame, then he can easily ease his poor troubled conscience by simply confessing and going to prison with Bush.

    March 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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